Jared Allen is back in Seattle Thursday for a second visit with the Seahawks, reports ESPN's Ed Werder. The report was confirmed separately by SportsRadioKJR's Curtis Crabtree and PFT's Mike Florio.
With Allen back in town again, it points to the thought that the two sides are close to an agreement -- or at least closer than they were since the former Vikings defensive end left for Dallas following his first visit. Dallas has since signed Henry Melton, which likely takes them out of the running for Allen, and Allen's suitor number has dwindled. While it's still likely a few teams, Seattle seems to be the only reported party.
Allen set out to find a contender and told Minnesota that he would not be returning, but has stated through is agent that if the money isn't right, he'll walk away from the game completely. "I think for my next team it will come down to a chance to win, a good organization," he said, "as well as getting a fair contract." Allen's reported price point is $10M per year, which seems unlikely given the soft market, despite the fact that DeMarcus Ware got that from Denver and 34-year old Julius Peppers got a three-year deal worth $8M+ APY on face value. Peppers' deal could work as a guide though, as it's really more of a one-year contract, with a $1M salary and a $7.5M signing bonus -- with the signing bonus the only guaranteed money. The Packers' cap hit in 2014 is a very manageable $3.5M and if they release him after the year, he'd count for $5M in dead money (the rest of his signing bonus, prorated) in 2015.
Allen, who has had more than 11 sacks in each of the past seven seasons and who hasn't missed a game in six, could provide Seattle with a nice spark to their pass rush. The Seahawks evidently didn't believe Chris Clemons was worth the $9M+ cap hit this year, but may see Jared Allen as a significant upgrade at that LEO spot. They could even use Allen as a rotational passing down defensive end and keep him fresh longer into the season.
After seeing the enormous impact that Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril had for the defense last year, I'm certainly open to the acquisition -- it's just a matter of finding a price point that doesn't negatively affect Seattle's chances to re-sign their core players like Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, and Russell Wilson, among others. Rest assured, I'm sure this front office is aware of that conundrum.
I had speculated on twitter yesterday, after considering the deals that Ware and Peppers both got, that we should perhaps steady ourselves for a possible big payday for Allen - upwards of $10M in some shape or form. That said, it seems much more likely that Seattle will exercise fiscal discipline and hope that he'll settle for somewhere in the $5-$7M range and perhaps work in a few performance incentives to get him closer to where he wants to be.
Pat Kirwin, a close friend to Pete Carroll, speculated that Allen will "strike a four-year deal worth $36 million ($9M average) with $17 million guaranteed." He followed up with that by saying, "Don't be surprised if the Seahawks stay in the race for Allen." Maybe Kirwin is just guessing, maybe he's operating with some inside information. I don't know. At this point, I somewhat doubt that Seattle will go that high... but I'm mentally preparing myself for if they do.
Regardless, I don't know Jared Allen, but the retirement threat seems more like a leverage ploy than a genuine plan. He wants Seattle to pay him near what he feels he's worth, and I get that, particularly in that his numbers certainly suggest he is worth more than the reported current market would dictate. We'll see how much the threat of walking away works in negotiations.